July 31, 2022

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

  • First reading and Psalm
    • Hosea 11:1-11
    • Psalm 107:1-9, 43
  • Alternate First reading and Psalm
    • Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
    • Psalm 49:1-12
  • Second reading
    • Colossians 3:1-11
  • Gospel
    • Luke 12:13-21
Parable of the Rich Man
1627 Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Berlin, Germany:
from Art in the Christian Tradition
A project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library

The gospel from Luke:
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’

But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

A professor at Luther Seminary in Minneapolis spoke at a funeral and was so saddened that when he went to a MacDonald’s for a hamburger he sat with a sad look until an old man in work clothing told him to cheer up. This week on his way to conduct a funeral, Pastor Stevensen was delayed by an accident that had occurred on the road, was reminded of the professor at the MacDonald’s and wondered where the nearest MacDonald’s was. But then he thought of all the volunteers at St John making preparations and so he knew that things would be okay. A Frenchman touring our country encountered many aid associations, of which there are more than there are in Europe. But the Progressive Movement here has reduced the need for them and their number is decreasing even today. Our church is an aid association. In today’s gospel reading Jesus is asked to be a judge. The rich man thought he could be a party animal, since he had done his life’s work. In Ecclesiastics and in Psalms we can read that the rich man’s responsibilities had just begun. In Jesus’ parable, God has a claim on us. The members of St John do a lot. The rich fool missed this chance.……… We need to participate in local communities and when we need it, receive aid ourselves.

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